Tag: rightscorp

Internet under threat as Patent Troll given the power to threaten every US ISP

Wikia_HP_-_Mountain_TrollAfter winning its case against Cox Communications, Copyright Troll Rightscorp has told every IPS in the US that they will have to pay up too.

Cox Communications last week lost a case to music publisher BMG Rights Management and was told to pay $25 million in damages after a federal court in Virginia found it liable for copyright infringements carried out by its customers.

The case was filed in 2014 after it was alleged that Cox failed to pass on cash settlement demands to customers that were sent by anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp on behalf of BMG.

Now Rightscorp has said that now the court has decided that ISPs are responsible for their customers piracy large amounts of money will have to change hands.

“For nearly five years, Rightscorp has warned US internet service providers (ISPs) that they risk incurring huge liabilities if they fail to implement and enforce policies under which they terminate the accounts of their subscribers who repeatedly infringe copyrights,” the company said.

“Over that time, many ISPs have taken the position that it was simply impossible for an ISP to be held liable for its subscribers’ actions — even when the ISP had been put on notice of massive infringements and supplied with detailed evidence. There had never been a judicial decision holding an ISP liable.”

Until now Rightscorp was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy for a couple of years now.

Cox said in a statement that it was disappointed in the ruling and planned to appeal.  If it does not win then it means that suddenly trolls like Rightscorp will have the power to demand money with menaces from any ISP whenever it feels like, much in the same way that it tried to get individual subscribers.  If the case is accepted as a precedent, it could mean that ISPs could be held responsible for libel, terrorism, crimes, or anything else their customers do on their networks.

It is hard to see how the Internet could actually survive this particular court ruling, at least in the US.


Copyright troll wants to hack your browser

Wikia_HP_-_Mountain_TrollCopyright troll Rightscorp wants to hijack the browsers of those it wants to extort money from to force them to pay up rather than go through all that inconvenience of going to court.

Rightscorp tracks the IP addresses of individuals who torrent certain titles. It then sends threatening letters to those users via their ISPs, threatening a giant lawsuit, and then offering a low settlement. But now that the company’s financials are down the loo it has a new cunning plan. It wants to lock users’ browsers until they pay a settlement fine.

The idea was spotted in a filing earlier this week:

“In the Scalable Copyright system, subscribers receive each [settlement] notice directly in their browser. Single notices can be read and bypassed similar to the way a software license agreement works [but] once the internet account receives a certain number of notices over a certain time period, the screen cannot be bypassed until the settlement payment is received.”

The hijacking would have to be done by ISPs, and would be technologically reasonably simple to implement—just redirect every webpage to Rightscorp’s notice instead, although it would be pretty simple to bypass using a VPN instead.

Of course it is going to hack off a lot of ISP customers. These are the people who give the ISP money, while Rightscorp doesn’t.  ISPs in that sort of situation are more likely to go to court to defend their customers from copyright shakedowns.  It does not seem likely that they are going to voluntarily back a hugely invasive and unpopular method of getting the movie theatres more dosh.